Summary of GS 2252 Persecuted Church in the World

January 25, 2022
Summary of GS 2252 Persecuted Church in the World

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This motion was originally brought to Lichfield Diocesan Synod by one of its lay members. He wrote that many parishioners would be shocked to discover that many Christians in other countries of the world are persecuted just for being a follower of Jesus Christ.

Some Christians are unable to attend church because there is none in their country. The New Testament encourages believers in one locality to help those in other localities.

We affirm Freedom of Religion and Belief as a fundamental human right and value the work of the Mission and Public Affairs Department to combat persecution of Christians. We also value the work of the Freedom of Religion and Belief Network.

Our debate and personal experiences led us to pray for those experiencing persecution and other denominations have International Days of Prayer.

B] Actions: There are dedicated websites with suggestions for actions, such as sending food parcels and teaching materials.

World Watch List released their annual update on 19th January. Last year, 340 million Christians were persecuted.

Covid 19 allows persecution in denial of aid relief and increased surveillance, while North Korea tops the list for 2021.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. This includes freedom to change one's religion, and freedom to manifest one's religion in teaching, practice, worship, and observance.

Love is the essence of our faith, and the second commandment is to love our neighbour as ourselves.

Archbishop Angaelos spoke about the plight of Christians in conflict zones, and urged us to pray for Pakistan in the last quinquennium.

The Lambeth Conference provides a unique opportunity to discuss and propose support for those who experience persecution at every level. The Archbishop of Canterbury has given us a window on the world to enable our prayers, and the Lambeth Conference itself and the pre-Lambeth hospitality programmes should focus on those who need our support and prayers.

Although it's hard to fathom the full extent of religious freedom violations, the Church of England's network of Companion Links provide a means to surface and engage with these violations.

Persecution can occur in a variety of ways, including in court rooms, prisons, tax offices, immigration centres, health clinics, workplaces, neighbourhoods controlled by vigilante groups, or even in a family. It is hard to measure the estimated scale of this problem.

In response to the issue of religious freedom in the world, Pew Forum reported in 2012 that 83% of the global population lived in countries with high levels of religious restrictions and societal hostility.

Despite methodological challenges, many analysts agree that the world is an increasingly hostile place for FoRB and that Christian communities have suffered in many parts of the world.

7. There are some countries that have introduced anti-conversion legislation because of suspicions that Evangelicals are doing missionary work and are representing the West.

The Church of England's companion links are a valuable tool to address violations of freedom of religion or belief in the world. They are expressed through visits and exchanges, prayer, gift giving and financial support.

In the field of FoRB, bishops establish links to provide cross-cultural learning and knowledge of conditions facing persecuted Christians. They engage with the Government, and help promote a more detailed and nuanced picture which isn't easily captured by the rather blunt headline figures produced by media and agencies.

The Church of England is encouraging dioceses to convene conversations about freedom of religion or belief to support the Lambeth Conference, which is being held in London in 2022.